Public Health England has today announced dementia prevention messaging will be a routine part of the NHS Health Check for people in midlife. Previously, this information was provided for people over the age of 65, but this update will offer vital risk reduction information to people aged 40-64 as well.
In April 2017, a report was published based on the findings of a pilot project from Alzheimer’s Research UK, Public Health England, and Alzheimer’s Society. The pilot showed that using the NHS Health Check was a successful way of motivating people in midlife to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of dementia. The study showed that of those who recalled the dementia messaging, 75% said they were more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce their risk, while 80% said the advice would have some impact on their behaviour.
The NHS Health Check is currently under review, after which the new messaging will be implemented by Health Check providers.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes the inclusion of dementia risk reduction messaging as part of the NHS Health Check. This update follows a successful pilot study from Alzheimer’s Research UK, Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society, which demonstrated the value of NHS Health Checks in raising vital awareness of dementia risk.
“Sadly, less than a third of people know they can do something to lower their risk of dementia. By changing how we think about dementia and intervening in midlife before the diseases that cause dementia begin, we can improve the likelihood of healthy ageing. The NHS Health Check provides a pivotal opportunity to impact a person’s wellbeing, not only for the next year, but potentially for decades to come.
“Raising awareness of dementia through the NHS Health Check is one of the commitments laid out in the Challenge on Dementia 2020 and we look forward to seeing these changes put in place soon.”